Introduce yourself to us by telling us what your first Instagram post was!
It’s actually quite funny – I don’t think any of us actually anticipated that Instagram would become the platform it is today, myself included. I’ve been using Instagram for so many years; but when I downloaded it I honestly just thought it was going to be my new Tumblr. I was joking around with my friend so my first post is actually a gumball machine with a filter on it. It got around 200 likes – at the time I had no way to gage if that was a lot or not.
How has social media helped you develop your business and your brand?
Honestly, when I had started using social media, I didn’t understand what a brand was. I was just a girl who loved documenting her life. I started my blog in an era of bloggers who had actual blog names. I knew I wanted to be in fashion so I wanted people to remember my name, and not my blog name. I started back in 2013 with my blog and I self-titled it and reverse-tracked building a brand. I started my blog without realizing that I was my brand. It’s changed over the years and recently I re-launched my blog and changed the direction. Because I’ve been able to grow and expand, it’s helped me understand the difference between a brand and a business. A lot of Instagrammers – they are their brand and it is their business.
You’re a blogger, photographer, and YouTuber – what is your favorite way to interact with your audience online and your best secret for maintaining strong engagement?
This changes because applications are always releasing new ways to engage with your audiences. I love trying out all of the new features. Before, I would have to say I absolutely love interacting with my audience via Snapchat. But now that Instagram Stories has taken over, it’s also another way I really love interacting with my audience. In terms of the tool I love the most right now, it’s definitely going live.
I’ve been going live both on my YouTube channel and my Instagram Stories. Sometimes I create mini themes, like showing my audience items on my Instagram. A couple of weeks ago, I walked my audience through why certain items are my favorite fall items. I just thought it was so fun to be able to interact with my audience in real time. On YouTube recently, for Vlogmas, I’ve been going live pretty much every day. It’s pretty much just to sit down and talk about our days. I don’t publish it so it doesn’t stay on the feeds, but I think it’s important just to check in with your audience all the time and let them know that you appreciate them.
I think another tip would be always stay genuine. Always interact with your audience. I’m always replying to DMs. I always respond to comments. I also sometimes go show some love on their page. I know how hard it can be, so I like to show my support with my audience wherever I can at all times.
You’ve also launched an online platform called Women Run This – why do you believe this is an important platform to have, especially in the digital age?
The best way I can describe it is how I did on my website! So who, better yet, what is the Women Run This network? Think of it as a place where all babes alike go to support one another. You wouldn’t want to see your bestie fail, would you? Here inside the Women Run This network, we want you to feel more confident with our tools, freebies and not to mention, a community full of other female entrepreneurs to connect with. We want to see you succeed, just like your best friend.
My mantra behind this is, “Behind every successful woman, there is her best friend telling her she can.” Women Run This is that best friend. I truly believe that moving from Los Angeles to Paris really flipped my world upside down – I thought I had everything figured out. I thought it would be an easy transition but it wasn’t. I realized there was a need for women supporting women all over the world. So I wanted to create a platform where women could come together all over the world and support each other.
Our network ranges from bloggers, entrepreneurs, and female creatives coming together to learn, inspire, and motivation each other in the Women Run This community. If women support women, we can seriously take over the world. I am so passionate about helping other bloggers, creatives, and entrepreneurs in this space. I’m not positioning myself as an expert, I’m positioning myself as a best friend. It’s my passion project, my little baby, and I’m really excited to see where it leads to.
Where do you find inspiration for your blog posts, photos, and videos?
Honestly, I get writers block too where I don’t know what to publish. So I try and sit down and listen to what my audience has been asking for and put it in a way that fits my brand but also in a way that gives back to my community. Because I have so many different social medias, from YouTube, to my blog, to my Instagram, though they all crossover, they all have their own audiences.
When I first started, I thought they would all have the same audience demographic across all of them, but I learned that I didn’t. I think it’s important to listen to your audience. But in terms of inspiration – I like to keep a database/harddrive where if someone has asked me for a dedicated video or question, or I see a certain question appearing constantly through YouTube, I will write that down. As well as for blog posts and photos.
I also love the feature on Instagram where you can create different collections. I always try and categorize that for inspiration for photos. I think also staying active on all social platforms helps – I could be watching a video and hear the intro song and that can inspire me. Recently, I’ve been really into Podcasts. Even though there’s no visuals, I get to listen. That’s been one of the best ways for me to get inspiration right now. There’s so many useful and inspiring interviewers that I listen to. I really do get my inspiration everywhere. It’s just a matter of how I organize it and put it out there on all of my platforms.
What’s your favorite social platform and why?
Oh my god this is so hard to choose. This is so impossible. I feel like each platform has my heart for a different reason. I love YouTube because I feel like I’m actually talking to my audience, I feel like we have a real relationship on there. We’ve gone through similar things, we share stories on there; it just feels like a more vulnerable platform in general.
I’ve also really been loving Instagram Stories and doing mini tutorials in there just because people really want the content right then and there.
Also, I love blog posts because I’m able to really go in depth. I’ve also been doing audibles so people can listen to the blog posts on the go, because I know time is money and I find myself listening to podcasts more as well.
If I had to choose just one I would have to say one hundred percent it’s YouTube. The YouTube community is like no other.
Where do you see the future of social media headed?
If I had to generalize it across all different demographics, it would have to be a more authentic relationship (especially in terms of Instagram). It used to be all the feed. Now, even though people still want to see pretty pictures, there needs to be some meaning behind it and a story.
People are going to have to get better at sharing their personal lives; they’re going to have to be storytellers. I also see video playing a huge part into that, now that live is something that Instagram has rolled out. YouTube has had it. People are just going to be wanting more real-time interaction. Which might be hard for people who rely heavily on Photoshop. It will be really interesting to see how people will play the part of storytellers through video. I’m actually really excited for it because I love sharing my bad jokes with the world.
If you could Instagram anything from anywhere in the world, what would it be?
A place I’m dying to visit? Honestly, every day since moving to Paris, I look out my window or go for a walk outside and I’m in such awe. I’m trying to capture more of that through my Instagram.
Interview by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.
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